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Scots gear up with Games in their sights

Derek Hawkins knows he has a mountain to climb if he wants a marathon medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Or two. Or maybe three. "I'm going to train at altitude over in Colorado before doing the same thing in France," he said of his planned preparation. "That's going to be a big thing in making sure I'm ready for Glasgow."

The 23-year-old begins his campaign in earnest on Sunday at a race in Groet, the Netherlands, after appearing yesterday at the launch of this year's Bupa Great Edinburgh Run - now a 10-mile event rather than a 10k, which takes place on April 27.

His focus will remain on the roads rather than a diversion to the track, he says, and ambitions should not be downplayed. "It all depends how training goes and the conditions on the day," Hawkins said. "It could be a scorching hot day in July or raining hard. I definitely hope it's the second option. I said when I was selected that my target is a top-eight finish. If everything goes well, I think that's achievable. But it also depends who comes from Africa to compete."

The top-ranked Scotsman in the field so far added: "I had incredible support in the London Marathon in 2012. It was amazing to hear that around the whole 26 miles. But I expect Glasgow to be 10 times louder than everything I've experienced."

Meanwhile, Gillian Cooke says she is ready to make it a three-way rivalry for Scottish long jump supremacy at this weekend's world indoor championship trials in Sheffield.

The ex-bobsleigh world champion earned a berth in the field by leaping 6.08m in Glasgow last weekend on her return to the sport. Now, she will do battle with Sarah Warnock and Jade Nimmo, with all three closely matched. But the oldest of the trio believes it can spark all of them on.

"Before I came along, there was Ruth Irvine going over six metres," Cooke said. "Then I came in, going further, and then when I went to bobsleigh, Jade and Sarah started to come through. It's really nice to have that domestic rivalry."

Laura Muir has signalled her intention to look for an 800m berth at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, next month after withdrawing from the 1500m in the trials in favour of the shorter event.

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